Lessons From Louisville
By Dr. Everett (Sileven) Ramsey
Pastor of Faith Baptist Church
This is about Louisville (prounced Lewisville), Nebraska, not Louisville, KY.
I have resisted writing this series of lessons for sometime now because I knew that many would be offended at some things I have to say. But repeated requests from men I respect and friends and for posterity's sake, I must make the record.
I do not claim perfection, infallibility or non-bias in these writings. On the contrary, I am writing from a very Biblical, historical and experiential bias; as did John Bunyan, Huss and Luther, I too, will have to wait on history to evaluate my contextual assessment of the seven year, multi-million dollar assault by the State of Nebraska, the N.E.A. and the forces of hell against me, my wife and the members of the Faith Baptist Church in Louisville, Nebraska from September 1977 to October 1984.
This assault cost the people of God over 2 million dollars and many months of time away from their churches and families. This assault tested the spiritual mettle of every preacher, every church, and every Christian in America and in my opinion was the watershed, the Waterloo and the Goliath battle of the 20th Century Church of Jesus Christ.
As always, God is the winner, the forces of evil are the losers and the saints are the catalysts so that church dross is identified and prepared for destructive judgment.
I want to make it absolutely clear, I am well aware that I am an earthen vessel of no value in and of myself. I was and am still a no body, of humble beginnings. What, if anything, will be recorded in glory to my credit, it is all of the grace and the power of the sovereign God of the universe.
There are many pastors in my opinion who were more worthy, more talented than and just as willing to be used as I. God did not choose me or Faith Baptist Church because of our greatness or righteousness. We had none. The lessons and conclusions I draw will be as honest and as fair as I can humbly do, plus I ask God to give me wisdom and guide my thoughts as I write.
To this day, many have not yet heard the true background of the Nebraska battle, nor seen the video of the assault made on the church when it was padlocked and praying members and friends were taken out and arrested.
Others have either been misinformed, believe gossip, or have deliberately misrepresented the truth of the circumstances. For this reason, I will bring an overview of the 7-year conflict.
In 1974 when we drove into Louisville, Nebraska, from the East, the first sight we saw was a little white Church on the corner of 5th & Elm. It had been there since 1958 when it was hauled in and set on a basement dug by the men of the church. The name of the church was Faith Baptist Church.
In 1958 Faith Baptist Church was started by godly people in the town of Louisville, Nebraska. It may have had several years of good attendance and impact on the community, but by 1974, it had dwindled to an attendance of 15 each week and the spirit of the church was discouraged and dead.
Their most recent pastor had been gone for several years and the fill-in preachers, mostly college students, were not bringing revival, to say the least.
It was in that year that I and my family had moved to Omaha, Nebraska where I would work as Manager of Consumer Products Package research for ConAgra, Inc. We joined the Marshall Drive Baptist Church, an Independent Baptist Church, in Millard, Nebraska, an Omaha suburb. We went to work right away teaching and visiting and soul winning. I was eventually asked to run the Bus Ministry of the church.
MY FIRST, PASTORAL CALL TO LOUISVILLE
One day, the pastor approached me and said that there was a small independent Baptist church in Louisville, Nebraska that had been looking for a pastor for some times and was now having trouble getting fill in preachers. He asked if I would want to go preach for them. He explained that they had run off all their former pastors. I replied, “No”.
After several more weeks, the pastor came back to me and asked if I would go fill in the next Sunday at the Louisville Church for they had not been able to get a preacher to come for a couple of weeks. So, I agreed to go one Sunday. That week, we drove to Louisville, about 15 miles away, and located the church.
The next Sunday My wife and children and I loaded into the car to go the Louisville. In those days, our daughter Tresa, was 16 and our son, David was 15. Our daughter played Bass guitar, our son played the piano, I strummed a guitar and we all sang Southern Gospel music. My wife, Tressie has a very beautiful voice and sings harmony.I sang lead, Tresa sang alto and David sang bass.
We loaded the instruments and went to the church as we always do in time to attend Sunday school. The adult class was taught by a great Christian man, Bro. Gutherie. Bro. Gutherie had gone to Bible College, but was not successful in the ministry and now did something else to make a living. His problem was that he simply did not have the gift of teaching or preaching.
Let me say here, that the greatest cause of the death of Sunday Schools for adults has been the acceptance of denominational quarterlies printed materials used as the text and taught by men and women who do not have any gifts of the Spirit in teaching. Nothing is more irrelevant and deader than this combination.
It finally came for worship service and Mrs. Gutherie was an accomplished pianist. After the song service, I was introduced and we brought the family to the front and played and sang.
We could see the moving of the Spirit as tears began to trickle down the cheeks of several of the adults in the room. There were very few children and no teenagers. I preached and gave an invitation and one child about 10 came forward to accept Christ.
We returned and sang and preached that evening. The congregation asked us to return next Sunday. I remember one lady, Sister Liles, standing, weeping and saying that she had not been so touched by the Spirit for many months and it had been years since they had anyone saved in a service there.
We did return for several Sundays through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Then the church announced that they wanted me to be their pastor. I was leery. So the next Sunday morning I preached a regular sermon and announced that evening I would speak to the Issue of being their pastor. I told them that anyone who did not come that evening would never have a right to complain if I was called as pastor.
The whole church (13) was there. I purposefully made it sound like I was a hard man and hard to get along with. I was really trying to get them not to call me. They voted unanimously to call me as pastor. I accepted.
I was still working for ConAgra. But I visited and worked the field, prayed, studied and preached. The church began to grow. We had several conversions, baptisms, new church members and had a high day of 48.
But in a few months, my job was gone because the president of the company foolishly spent all the company’s money buying up other bad companies and our division of research and business had to be sold to save the company.
I then moved to Dallas, Texas and began the biggest job with the biggest pay I ever had with Frito Lay, the chip company. But in a few months, the Spirit of God would not leave me alone about preaching.
I accepted a call to the Calvary Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Missouri, full time. But it did not work. I had to return to work and I was so discouraged.
LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE
It was at this time that Jack Hyles came into my life. I knew that the problem was me more than anything else. Our children were now in their Junior and senior years of High School. I believed that if I could sit under Dr Hyles for a while and attend his Bible College that I could be helped. Plus, I was now concerned about the public schools and wanted my children in a Christian School and College.
I resigned the church and moved to the Hammond area. We were in debt and expenses were soaring. I worked in an asphalt plant, went to Hyles Anderson College.
My wife attended college classes, worked and the children enrolled in the Hammond Baptist High School. We started attending church and classes. I took detailed extensive notes of the services and sermons. I worked hard in class.
To my great surprise, I found one of the sons of the head deacon from Louisville Baptist Church, James Glen, had also enrolled in the college. We worked together and fellowshipped. It was a sweet spot in all the intense living of the time.
I would fast and pray for God to fix me. I remember on the job at Trumble Asphalt in Chicago, while the other men, students from the college working there, would eat their dinner, I would climb to the top of a tall storage tank which had a rail and I would look off into the sky at the stars and over the bright lights of Chicago and I would weep and walk and pray, :”Oh God, fix me or take me”.
I wanted to be used or I did not want to live. There was a burning in my spirit and soul that would not be quiet. I had told my wife that I was not going to eat again until God fixed me or took me.
It wasn’t long, but one night, the Spirit of God came upon me and I can’t explain it. I didn’t speak in tongues, but I was over whelmed. I ran to the restroom as Moody did in New York City and prayed “Oh God, thank you for fixing me, but withdraw your hand slightly lest I die”. It’s amazing isn’t it? Before that I wanted to die, but now, I wanted to live.
I could hardly wait to see what God would do. I knew that He had fixed me. Now, where would he send me? I could hardly wait to finish my current semester of college and I knew that an invitation to preach would soon come. It did.
SECOND CALL TO LOUISVILLE
Bro. Glen approached me and told me that their current pastor at Faith Baptist had resigned. The church had declined again and he had killed the spirit of the church with over emphasis of the corporate constitution. He spent all his time on the constitution, not on building up and edifying the church.
I was shocked that the Lord would give me this door. I refused at first. I said, “You can’t afford me. I am not going to work. It has to be full time. I need a house and $200.00 a week”.
I was sure they could not afford this. But they did. They agreed to it.
I returned to Louisville, Nebraska in January of 1976. I was put up in the only hotel they had. It was old, cold and the bathroom was down the hall. We called it the Louisville Hilton. My wife was still in Hammond until our son graduated from Hammond High School. Our daughter was already in Hyles Anderson College.
In May, my wife returned to Louisville. The church rented a parsonage and the church was already in growth and the spirit was great.
We planed an old fashioned Sunday for the 4th of July weekend. I invited the Mayor and Councilmen to attend. The Mayor, Ralph Stohlman, a staunch German Lutheran came and spoke briefly. One councilman, a Methodist came. I preached and the Mayor came forward and accepted Christ. Next week he and his wife joined the church and so did the Methodist Councilman and his wife. All were baptized.
The church was getting full. We started a building program. We built the church ourselves and dedicated it in the spring of 1976.
PARENTS OFFENDED BY GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS
In January of 1977, the members of Faith Baptist Church met to discuss opening a church school for their children. The motivation for this proposal was a socialistic and ungodly education being dished out in the public schools and the inability of the parents to change that course of action.
Among things discussed was the State involvement in education. All of us were aware of legislative decrees and Department of Education regulations requiring that all schools be licensed and use State certified teachers. Upon examination of the Scriptures, the church concluded:
1) God required parents to educate their own children. Deut 6:1-6
2) Home education at this point and time was being prosecuted in the state.
3) The standard of education should be the Scriptures.
4) The government schools had substituted humanism for the Bible, Jesus and moral law.
5) A church education ministry would be an integral part of the church mission.
6) Christ was head of the church.
7) State regulations violated the headship of Christ over the church and the Biblical mandated responsibility of parents to be in control of their own children's education.
8) We would have to open the school without State sanction and face the consequences as best we could.
Now, this is where the average Christian has been so brainwashed to tolerate evil that they would not ever consider challenging the edicts of the State. They use Romans 13 as their mandate to obey government no matter how evil the laws become.
So many Christians make their living in government and government programs like education, that they have been nullified as Christians in society.
VOTE TO START THE SCHOOL
Based on these findings and facts, the parents voted to open a Christian church school without State oversight.
I went to Dallas to be trained in Acellerated Christian Education. I already had my college and some Seminary. We also hired a lovely family, Ed & Martha Gildert. Ed would be Principal of the school. He was a graduate of Baptist Bile College in Springfield, Missouri. His wife would play the piano and coordinate the music. She was also a graduate from the same school.
Later, we would hire our daughter, Tresa, a graduate of Hyles Anderson College in Hammond, IN., to be head teacher and her husband, Phil Schmidt, also a Hyles Anderson Graduate, to be my associate Pastor.
In August of 1977, prior to opening the school, Officials from the State Department of Education visited the church to warn us that they had heard we were opening without sanction and that they would prosecute. We stated our position, to no avail. The school opened September 7,1977.
The tragedy of all this is that we had just spent all year meeting with the Seantors in the Nebraska State Legislature (Unicameral)explaing why they needed to ammend or repeal the current laws concerning private and church school. They would not give us an ear. We also tried to meet with the Deapratment of Education and they would not even meet with us.
In October, the County Attorney filed criminal charges against me and our Principal Ed Gilbert based on State statutes requiring forms to be filled out, reports made, certification, etc. of the school.
The Christian Law Association, mainly Attorneys David Gibbs and Charley Craze, were brought in to represent us in the criminal case. We were charged on the county level, to be tried in County Court and appeared before Mr. Welch, a very conservative judge, and pleaded not guilty.
The State, knowing of Mr. Welch's conservative background, removed him from the case and brought in a liberal retired judge to which Gibbs and Craze strongly objected and went to the State Supreme Court demanding a change.
STATE CHURCH CORPORATION OUR GOD
The State dropped the criminal charges, re-filed charges, not against us as individuals, nor using criminal code. But rather, the State, after being taught by Gibbs and Craze, brought civil charges against the church corporation, asking for relief in the District Court with a Catholic judge, Mr. Raymond Case.
In April 1979, the District Court ruled against us and issued a restraining order against the Church Corporation and its officers forbidding them from opening the school.
We appealed to the State Supreme Court and opened school in the fall of 1979 against the court order. Our position was that God had ordered us to do what we were doing and we would not change simply because man-made laws and man-made courts ordered us to do otherwise.
We could not put our children back in the government schools, which taught anti-Christian subject matter. We could not flee. We would keep doing what we were doing; we would not go on the offensive, aggressively attacking the State, but we would simply defend ourselves in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We would work with the Legislature and pursue the court action. This we did.
We continued to operate the school without any jeopardy because the State Supreme Court stayed the possibility of contempt punishment while they were hearing the case.
COURT ORDERED CHURCH PADLOCKED
In October of 1981, the State Supreme Court ruled against us and reinstated the order of the lower court to close the school or be State licensed and certified. We reopened the school in the fall of 1981 without license and/or certification. On September 13th the Court ordered the Sheriff to padlock the church to prevent the school from operating in the lower level of the church building.
This also prevented the church office from functioning and also prevented anyone from using the church for prayer or any other Christian function.
We moved the school outside on the lawn or in buses or to other church buildings and continued to operate. Eventually the chains were removed and in January of 1982, we moved the school back into the building.
FIRST TIME JAILED
In February of 1982, I was jailed for contempt of court. The school continued to operate and I was released from jail for the summer and ordered back to jail in September if we opened the school.
I refused to turn myself in because I amd the other pastors did not believe me to be guilty of any crime. Therefore, the Sheriff entered the church auditorium and arrested me in the pulpit while ministering to the children on September 3, 1982. (This is on videotape)
We were in the process of appealing the case to the United States Supreme Court. The High Court refused to hear it. As a result, I was rearrested in September of 1982 in the pulpit of the church while having chapel for the school children. Pastors from across the nation heard of the tragedy and began to come to Louisville to stand with us. The church was ordered padlocked the second time in October of 1982.
PRAYING MEMBERS PHYSICALLY REMOVED FROM CHURCH BY STATE POLICE
When we refused to vacate the building by having 24 hr prayer sessions and school in the daytime, the State police entered the building and physically removed 100 people from off their knees.
All this took place while I was in Jail. My wife was carrying the load of the church. Dr. Gregg Dixon Pastor of the Indianapolis Baptist Temple was my appointed pastor of the Faith Baptist Church in my absence in jail. Dr. Robert McCurry pastor of Heritage Baptist Church near Atlanta assisted Dr. Dixon.
I was released from jail in January of 1983 when my sentence was finished. The parents had continued to run the school as best they could, anywhere they could. My daughter and other teachers were across the state line in Iowa to keep from being arrested.
Now the State and the country could see the dedication and conviction of these parents who really believed it was their responsibility to teach their children in the Lord. I commend them highly. They everyone did a magnificent job.
CHAINS REMOVED FROM DOORS
The Pastors were able to get the chains off the church in a matter of days because they threatened to cut them, and deputies inside were ordered to shoot. The judge, seeing the potential inflammatory danger, removed the chains and the school continued to operate. In 1983, Judge Case resigned from the case and a new judge was brought in.
In 1983, the children's fathers were jailed and arrest warrants were issued for the children's mothers and for my daughter, who was the schoolteacher. Arrest warrants were issued for me; I was out of the State. At that time while the men were in jail I determined to use the media and the mother's in exile with their children around the country to stir up the people with the truth.
About this time, elections rolled around and we had a new Governor. He appointed a new Attorney General and assigned him the task of heading a Blue Ribbon Committe of attorneys, educators and business executives from Mutual of Omaha.
This committe contacted me, out of State, and asked me to bring a delegation of pastors to weet with them at the Holiday Inn in Council Bluffs, Iowa to dicuss the matter.
I invited Dr. Dixon, McCurry and a few other men. After 3 hours of grilling us with questions, the new Attorney General was shocked. He said, "I can't beleive this was settled a long time ago. You are not asking for anything unreasonable and you have tried to work with the State and they have balked."
He returned to Lincoln, Nebraska, dragted legislation, which was eventually passed that freed the churches completely. The parents would have been freed completely also, but an outside man, not even a pastor, interfered and caused the NEA and Legislature to ammend the original legislation to impose some restrictions on the parents.
The law was changed in the Legislature in 1984; the school was under no threat; the parents were back home with their children in school and the only remaining warrants were for my daughter and myself.
We voluntarily came into the State, surrendered ourselves to the court and my daughter's warrant was dropped. I was sentenced to jail and served another 45 days.
The school opened in the fall of 1984 with no incident and no problems from the State. Also, the Supreme Court overturned my conviction for contempt of court. Since that time the schools have operated in the State without any problems, without certified teachers, without licenses and over 1200 home schools now function in the same liberty.
God gave a great victory and many people have reaped the benefits in Nebraska and around the country. It probably was the one battle that captured the attention of the Nation and other Nations around the world, bringing the conscience of America to the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Out of this, there were many lessons learned; while the churches in Nebraska won freedom, the parents didn't and there is a key reason why they did not. We will discuss that in one of my lessons. There were many philosophical, Biblical and theological decisions that had to be made by Pastors and Christians all over the country and most did not see the issue and made the wrong decision; we will talk about that also.
Again, God in His sovereign grace and mercy allowed this piece of flesh, Everett Sileven (Ramsey), to be a part of the great work that He did in Nebraska. The members and the families of Faith Baptist Church deserve a greater hand and a greater reward in heaven than I do. My wife deserves a greater reward than I deserve. Many of the Pastors who came and worked deserve a greater reward than I deserve.
Lessons that we will be discussing in the next few chapters will include what we learned about
State Marriage License
EDUCATION AND STATE CONTROL
LAW AND LORDSHIP
WAR OF THEOLOGIES
PREACHERS AND CHRISTIANS WHO FAIL TO STAND
REV 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
ACT 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Since Adam showed up on this planet, he has constantly and consistently be confronted with the demand to reject whom he knows to be God and Lord and accept the law and lordship of another power or authority. He is first offered this choice in peace. If he rejects, then he is demanded to make this choice by force.
In the Garden of Eden, he accepted that choice in peace. Since Cain’s grand child Nimrod, he has faced persecution and death to switch or fight. The enemies of God and the Gospel make all such offers. These offers are presented as reasonable and more effective than fighting.
The enemy knows that God and the Gospel can be defeated by “gradualism”. The enemy offers the people of God everything they want as long as they will accept oversight by an authority other than God and the Bible.
Take a license, you can still do what you are doing. But once you take the license, the new, non Biblical authority gradually closes and limits your activity by regulation and statutory law. What the preachers and Christians of the current and last two generations can’t seem to understand is that our Federal, State and Local governments are no longer Roman 13 (ministers of God) governments.
Our nation started that way. The enemy has used gradualism to move the nation to a new law and thus a new God.
The major steps of gradualism away from God and His Law/Word was the:
1)First Presidential executive orders under President Lincoln
2)Marshall law implemented to force the passage of alleged amendments to the Constitution (13th, 14th, 15th)destroying the Christian Republic and establishing the humanist Democracy.
3)The relinquishing of parental responsibility for education of their children by Christians in the acceptance of a centralized tax paid educational system run by the State.
4)The adoption of evolution as a theology of origin and elevation of man to be his own god.
5)The creation of the current monetary and tax system which destroyed the individual's ability to discharge debt and accumulate wealth.
6)The surrender of our national sovereignty to the United Nations.
7)The establishment of Baal and Molech worship through pornography and abortion.
8)The expulsion of God and His Word from all pubic forums.
The Battle of Louisville was a head to head confrontation over whose Law is final, absolute, God or Lord. For the Christian there is no question:
JOH 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
This was the same battle fought by Huss, Tyndale, Bunyan, and even Christians in this country in its beginning. The problem Christians, who stand, have always had, are those who claim to be Christians but won’t stand and meet this confrontation.
Christianity is a confrontational way of life. Those who refuse to confront the claims of the enemy to lord it over God’s people can not really claim to be living Christian lives.
Romans Chapter Thirteen and other related Scriptures do not neutralize the claims and demands of Christ and the Bible for sovereignty and Lordship over the life of a Christian, his family and his nation.
ACT 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
ACT 17:7 Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.
The confrontation in Nebraska would never have reached the level and scale that it reached had it not been for over (40) Forty years of capitulation and compromise by the Preachers, Christians and churches in the State of Nebraska.
The Mennonites first tested the law in 1943. When they lost in court, they capitulated. It was never tested in court again until we came along. In the mean time, dozens of churches started schools and never challenged the law or the Department of Education regulations. This included Catholic, Lutheran, Mennonites and Baptists. Even the Amish came and ran away when they were tested by the State. This created confidence and even arrogance on the part of the State.
Theology of “exclusivity” has never been popular. Christians were not killed in Rome or under the Pope or in any other country because they believed in Christ or practiced Christianity. Even communist countries today do not oppose what you believe. Christians have been killed because they refused to render sovereignty to the king or Pope or equality to all religions.
Humanism has successfully convinced the majority of Christians that Christianity is just a religion, like all religions and that is for piety, personal and inner thoughts. It is not to govern the public lives of an individual or a nation. In fact, this is exactly what the State attorneys argued in the courtroom.
“We do not care what Rev Sileven (Ramsey) and his people believe, they just can’t practice it”.
Well, this is no different than any wicked tyrannical government of history.
In this case in Nebraska, the State testified in court that they had no problem with us being Christian or teaching religion or anything else pertaining to our God. We only had to accept the State curriculum, the State philosophy (theology) and use only teachers that were trained and approved by the State.
Well, my friend, if you do all that, the State would not fear your God or your Christianity, because your religion becomes a tool of the State. The enemy has figured it out. If you teach your children the wicked and evil theology of situation ethics, socialism, communism, tolerance and universal equality and salvation, what you teach your children about the true God will never enter their minds, let alone stay in their minds mor affect how they act and who they obey.
In fact, children who have spent the first 5 years in a government school were usually impossible to integrate into our Christian schools. They were already destroyed as far as Christianity is concerned.
When I was a child, my mother was a Sunday school teacher in the junior boys class (ages 9-12). Each Sunday, she would have a class project to go along with the lesson. On this particular Sunday, we were studying the verse, “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump”.
She wanted to illustrate this very problem of gradualism and compromise with evil. She brought some sweet ice tea to class. After class, she poured a little tea in each boy’s paper cup and asked them to drink it. They did. They liked it. She did it a second time. Then, she took out a can of used motor oil. She asked if motor oil was good to drink. Making faces, the boys shook their heads, “no”! She then put three drops of that oil from the can into the tea and mixed it. She then asked each boy to hold out his cup for another drink. None did.
She then made the point that it did not matter how much good you put into your mind, if you allowed a little evil and bad in to your mind, the good would not be good any longer.
There you have it folks. You can pour the entire Bible truth into the head of your child, but if you allow that child to be taught in a system that teaches without the Bible, the good will be destroyed or ruined.
For decades now, parents have taken their children to the church nursery, then Sunday School, then youth activities, Bible Study and church, but about 12-16 years of age, their children rebel against them and God; and they cannot understand why.
It is because they also put them in the public schools, the nursery care, the day care, and feed them on television, rock music and filthy movies. When Faith Baptist Church started its week day educational ministry, it included rules that parents would, eleminate or limit television, friends, music and other forms of anti Bible materials entering the child’s mind in his formative years.
That is why our church did not use State trained and certified teachers. Our teachers were all trained to teach, in good qualified Bible related colleges. State trained teachers almost always have difficulty adapting to purely Biblical thought and methods.
Statistics show that children educated in State licensed and Certified schools are just as worldly, socialist, corporate and amoral as children trained in government schools. This, of course, is what the State wants. We knew this and we refused to go along with it. Our desire was to teach and train our children to be true to God, His Law/Word and the historic political thought of this nation. This angered the State. Thus, they had to fight us and close any and all schools such as ours.
They tried appeasement. They tried bribery. They tried force. They tried every thing in the book. They wanted that school closed. They knew that if they could not close our school, there would be others. They ere right. In the course of 5 years of trials and battles, 11 other church schools opened without license. The home school case in the state went to the State Supreme Court and the Rice family won their case.
Immediately there were hundreds of home schools that opened up unlicensed. The establishment in the East got involved. The national Education Association got involved. The battle was on. This became a national battle over theology. By that, I mean, a battle over whose Law would be God/Lord. To my great disappointment, most preachers, priests, theologians and clergy never did get the picture. This revealed that our nation had already evicted the God of the Bible and had accepted the god of the state.
Professing Christian Attorneys.
LAWYERS AND JUDGES
When this case started, I had no earthly idea what the prosecutor’s functions and duties were. The same was true for the judge and the defense attorney. In my limited knowledge and experience and much naivete, I believed the general propaganda put out by the government schools, the media and establishment office holders, about the courts. My concepts were like the General population’s concepts. I believed that the courts were a place where the accused and the accuser met to lay all the cards on the table and the wheels of justice would measure all the evidence, judge it against the law and Constitution of the State of Nebraska and the United States. Based on the facts and these documents, I believed that court would render an honest and just decision. I believed that the court and the Zstate would have the same definition for freedom, religion and education that the church and I had. Was I in for a shock! The players in this confrontation were as follows,
• State Attorney General Paul Douglas, a man in his 50's, single, never married, a Republican, not a Christian, although a member of a local mainline denomination;
• Assistant Attorney General, Mosier, anemic and effeminate in appearance, but more personable and more religious than Douglas;
• New Attorney General Robert Spires, at the end of the case, a Republican, supportive of individual and parental rights;
• County Prosecutor, Jim Beagly, Republican county boss, arrogant and had very little to do with religion.
• Assistant County Prosecutor, Ron Moravick, young, ambitious and a main line liberal Presbyterian.
• Defense Attorney, David Gibbs, very articulate, brilliant, sincere, dedicate a professing Christian and a member of an Independent Baptist church similar in doctrine to ouir own.
• Defense Attorney, Charles Craze, not as articulate, sharp, sincere, a Christian of a conservative Methodist church. A partner with Gibbs.
• Expert Witness, Dr. ___________________, Texas A&M, educational testing expert who was the outside consultant used by the State of Nebraska.
• JUDGES: Walsh, very conservative, County level.
• A replacement judge, liberal, retired and appointed by the State Supreme Court to replace Judge Walsh.
• Raymond Case, 50's, Catholic, humble, personable, strong family man.
• Judge Reagan, young, ex-marine drill sergeant, arrogant, ungodly with a sour personality.
• NAMES, unknown
STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
This is a list of all the players involved in the judicial process. They did not all play at the same time, but were all involved at some time.
We first appeared in Cass County Court in October of 1977, Honorable Judge Walsh presiding. We plead "Not Guilty" to 14 charges of violating Nebraska State Statutes related to running a school. We ask for a jury trial.
The charges were criminal (misdemeanor) in nature. They were related to making application for license, certification of teachers, curriculum, reporting students, parents and addresses, etc. The charges carried a maximum of 90 days jail and a $1,000 fine on each count.
The hearing date was set in November of 1977. Our fist shock came when we appeared for the beginning of the trial. The State Supreme Court had arbitrarily, without notice to our counsel removed Judge Walsh, a past American Party candidate for governor, from the case and replaced him with an older, retired judge from Lincoln. This new judge was an ultra liberal. Judge Walsh was very conservative.
Gibbs and Craze, our attorneys, refused to go to court and drove 35 miles to the State Supreme Court to lodge protest, which they won after threatening to go to the United States Supreme Court if necessary. I say, they won, but in effect it was a compromise. Gibbs and Craze taught the state prosecutors how to come against the church corporation instead of us personally and thus sent the case one court higher to the Cass County District Court under the Honorable Judge Raymond Case.
Charges were dropped against us, but then brought against the church corporation and myself as president of the corporation. The trial was set for April 1979. After pre-trial paperwork, we finally went to court in October of 1979. After 3 weeks of courtroom testimony, the court (Judge Case) rendered a decision against us ordering us to close the school or comply with all the State Statutes related to running a school.
We took the decision to the church to decide what they wanted to do. They voted unanimously to continue to run the school without state involvement. Our arguments and rational were simple. Did we have a law or command from God to educate our children? Yes we did. Could we fulfil that command in the state run public schools? No we could not. Their program and curriculum was blatantly unchristian, socialist, communist and unscriptural. To allow the state to regulate our schools would simply result in the same problems at our double expense.
Was the school an integral part of the mission of the church and was this mission mandated in scripture? Yes, to both questions. Would allowing the State to rule a part of the church (the school) violate the Lordship of Christ over the Church? Yes it would. Would it be a sin for us to allow the state to exercise lordship over the bride of Christ? Yes it would.
We refused to close and we refused to submit the school ministry of the church to the State. Judge Case found us in contempt but allowed the church to operate the school to finish the year. He ordered it not to open in the fall of 1980.
The case was appealed to the Nebraska State Supreme Court. The State Supreme Court stayed execution of any orders pending appeal. This put the case in limbo until it was heard in 1981. The Nebraska State Supreme Court under Chief Justice Krovosha, upheld the lower Court decision. We lost again.
As a side note here, this decision has become a landmark case on the First Amendment to the Constitution in all Law Schools across the land. I personally have appeared in many universities and lectured on the case to students and professors. The decision is generally seen in the law community as a terrible decision. Later in these Lessons of Louisville, we will see why it was not an unlawful decision, though, at the time, we thought it bad also.
In the fall of 1981, with the order not to open by the lower court now upheld by the State Supreme Court, we opened the school facing very stiff penalties when found in contempt. We opened anyway.
Right away, the ministers and the press began their 4 year pounding on us for violating Romans 13 and various scriptures they interpreted to demand us to obey the State. Why would we endure all this verbal abuse? Well, here is where the rubber hits the road. Why did the early Christians continue to preach and refuse to hail Caesar as Lord when they knew it meant immediate and sure death or persecution or confiscation of property? Why did hundreds of thousands of Christians continue to worship and preach outside the Roman Catholic Church when it meant death? Why did thousands of Christians continue to worship and preach outside the established church of England when it meant sure punishment? Why did Bunyan refuse to take a license to preach and spend 13 years in a muddy dungeon when not one other minister in England agreed with him?
This is where the separation of real Christians and professing ones takes place. How can Christians say they obey God and the Bible, how can they call themselves Christians when they refuse to do what they say they believe under threat of pain? If your beliefs do not mean any more than this, why have them? Christ came to give us something for which to live and die. If Christ is your Lord and He has placed demands on you, you have no other choice than to obey. We do not judge others who may choose other means to obey as long as they do not compromise the sovereignty and Lordship of Christ over the church and family.
The case was appealed to the United States Supreme Court, but they refused to hear the case, for lack of federal question, as they defined it. Well, at this time, we certainly did not understand how freedom of religion and first amendment issues were not a Federal question. Today we do understand and really, the court did us all a favor.
While the school was running, the Sheriff and his deputy would come and force their way through the church building, many times not even removing their hats out of respect. He would report back to the court. Many times the neighbors would call the sheriff and make reports of the operation of the school ministry hoping to get us in trouble.
The prosecutors soon charged my daughter and me with contempt of court. We went to court in October of 1981 and were found guilty of contempt of court. We expected to go to jail and were prepared to do so. But instead, the judge ordered the church padlocked to prevent the school from meeting in the building. The church was even charged for the lock and chains.
While the press, the attorneys and freedom organizations understood the terrible and great significance of this blatant move, most professing Christians were not bothered because the judge allowed the building unlocked for Sunday and Wednesday night services. The fall out nationwide though was devastating to the State.
While the church was padlocked, the attorneys convinced me to do a very wrong thing. They convinced me to move the school to an Iowa Church school out of the court’s jurisdiction. The church was not comfortable with this move.
Because of the pressure against the judge for padlocking the church, the locks were removed from the church building. The church unanimously agreed to move the school back into the building.
We had been working with the state legislature to change the law since the summer of 1977 with no success. After the padlocking of the church, Senator John DeCamp was now willing to look into the matter. But nothing was moving very fast.
The church was again invaded and inspected by the sheriff and reported to the prosecutor. Again my daughter and I were charged with contempt. We were back in court in February of 1982. This time, I went to jail.
Again, the so-called Christian attorneys began to work on me for alternative means. They again convinced me to do a very wrong thing. They appealed to my peaceable side. They impressed on me the need for my involvement with the legislature and travel to rally the troops. So they convinced me to resign as pastor of the church on paper so I could no longer be held for contempt.
You have to remember that at this time, I was a typical minister with no real knowledge of the current dilapidation of law, jurisprudence or lawyers. I, like most people, trusted them explicitly and allowed them to call the shots. So, I resigned and I was released. The parents continued to run the school and I began to travel and speak and work with the legislature. I was still technically pastoring, but not President of the Corporation. By this time, the school year was nearly over. The parents were then taken to court and found in contempt, but not jailed. They were told not to open the school in the fall.
It did not take me long to realize that I had made an error in resigning the church. Therefore, I notified the court of my sin and that I had been reinstated as full pastor and that we would be opening the school in the fall.
When we did open the school, the Sheriff entered the church auditorium and arrested me from the pulpit. Again, the parents were running the school. It was at this time, while I was in jail the second time that the judge had me brought to his office late one evening to talk to me and tell me that he was going to padlock the church again. It was also at this meeting that he explained to me the problems of the church corporation.
The word went out that the church was going to be padlocked after Sunday evening services. Pastors from all over America came to Louisville, Nebraska under the leadership of Dr. Greg Dixon and Dr. Robert McCurry to hold prayer vigils all night and as long as was needed to stop the padlocking.
At about 6 am Monday October 2,1982, the Sheriff with 3 deputies and 17 state troopers in full uniform entered the church and physically removed 100 praying men from off their knees and took them out side and locked the doors. (This is on video)
The many pastors that were in Louisville, Nebraska including Evangelist Tim __________, who lost both his legs in Vietnam, held rallies, services every night and prayer meetings. After several days, Brother Tim ________ could not stand it any further. He said he did not go to Vietnam to loose his legs for freedom and then stand by while freedom was taken from us at home. He said that he was going to cut the locks of the door the next day. Everyone knew what that meant, He would be killed by the officers stationed inside the building. Forty-two ministers signed up to take up the cutters and cut the chain if he was killed.
The cutting of the chains off the doors was set for 12:00 noon. Dr. Dixon and Dr. McCurry went to see the judge one more time. After 45 minutes of discussion with no results, they told the judge that the leg-less Marine, in full white uniform in front of the press cameras was going to cut off the chain and 42 other pastors had signed up to take his place if he was killed. The judge turned white and frantically called the Sheriff to remove the chains.
I am still in jail, the school is operating and no one knows what to do. The Legislature is under the control of the NEA (Nebraska Education Association, the teacher’s union). Senator DeCamp is getting a little more momentum for legislation. Several bills have been introduced in the Legislature. The Legislature is being brought back for a special Session and discussion of passing a school bill to solve the problem is under consideration. The court and I and the church agreed to a 30-day moratorium by recessing the school and we would work with the Legislature to resolve the matter.
We were released and went to Lincoln, but the Legislature refused to even consider a bill. This was because of the Republican Governor who was a coward and up for re-election. I was re-arrested and jailed. The election was in November. The Governor lost to Bob Kerry and Democrat.
While I was out, we unincorporated the church and notified the court. The Supreme Court would not allow the Lower Court to recognize the change in status and I was re-jailed. Judge Case, being fed up with the High Court, resigned from the case. The school continued to operate. The judge ordered the Sheriff to not replace the chains on the door.
I was charged with contempt of court again, I had fired the attorneys and represented myself. The Judge was very reluctant to hold the hearings and postponed them for us to reconsider and get an attorney. We came back without an attorney and the hearing was held. It was obvious that the prosecutor, the Sheriff and the Judge had met privately and already decided to jail me. I asked the Judge if he took an oath to uphold the Constitution, and he said, "Yes, but I am not bound by it in this case." A full courtroom gasp!
I was ordered to turn myself in on September 1, if I felt I should. On August 28th, school started and I notified the press and the Court that I did not intend to turn myself in. On September 3, 1982, I was arrested while in my pulpit by Sheriff Tesch and taken to jail, where I stayed until I was released for a short time to lobby the legislaturein special session to change the law. When that failed, I was arrested again and returned to jail where I stayed until my sentence was up in January of 1983.The school continued to operate while I was in jail and the judge
ordered the Sheriff to padlock the doors of the church again. Thistime pastors from across the land came in determined to stay in thechurch for prayer meetings all the time. These men were all carriedout by armed officers early Monday morning and the church was padlockedwith armed officers stationed on the inside with orders to shoot to
kill anyone who tried to get in.The defense attorneys for the most part were not involved here and could do no more. It was now a battle of God against Satan.In 1982 at a Christmas party, State Attorney General Paul Douglas said, "I will get a piece of those Christian Schools if it is thelast thing I do".In 1984, Paul Douglas was impeached, stripped of his bar license and removed from office and practice over alleged criminal activity surroundinga bank failure in Lincoln, Nebraska.The Governor, Charles Thone, a Republican, lawyer, not expected to lose, lost to Bob Kerry, a liberal Democrat.Judge Case resigned from the case and Judge Ronald Reagan took over as judge. This judge in his arrogance had seven fathers thrown injail, issued arrest warrants for 8 mothers including my daughter,Tresa Schmidt, who was a teacher and a new mother nursing a 6 monthold son. The nation reacted with sheer vehemence, once we were ableto get the news on all the major networks, all Christian TV and radiostations and Ted Copple's Night Line.The Whitehouse stepped in through its Department of Education who called Governor Kerry. The Governor was told to tell the NationalEducation Association State Branch, the Nebraska State Education Association,"They could have the Christians or their Federal Funds, but they couldnot have both." All their funds would be held up for at least threeyears while the Feds looked into possible Constitutional violationsagainst the parents.The NEA agreed to back off if Governor Kerry would tax the Nebraska people an additional $20,000,000 for education. This was agreed upon.Kerry set up a special Governor's commission to study the ChristianSchool issue and bring recommendations. This they did and the nextyear a new $20,000,000 tax bill was passed.The Commission sat down and talked with us. This was the first time the State had ever made an attempt to listen to us. They even wentacross State lines to meet with me since I had an arrest warrant outfor me in Nebraska.The Commission report came out very close to all that we wanted. The Governor got behind it and new laws were passed.All the warrants were dropped on the parents. My daughter and I still had to go back and face a very arrogant Judge Reagan. This we didon April 20,1984. My daughter was released and sent home. I was givena new jail sentence to last until the school year ended and then torestart in September for a total of eight more months. I am sure thatReagan would have given me more, but he could not give me more thana total of 12 months in the county jail and I had already served 4months. He did not want to send me to the State Penitentiary, forfear the preachers might come back to the state.We appealed the contempt sentence, and I was allowed to stay out until the State Supreme Court heard the case. Gibbs did a magnificent jobbefore the court and the sentence was overturned. That was the endof it. God had given the church total victory and the parents a partialvictory. (More on the parents and their partial victory in anotherlesson.)THINGS WE LEARNED ABOUT LAWYERS: 1) All lawyers are officers of the court. They are subject to the same judge that the prosecutor is subject to.
2) Christian lawyers have no special advantage, they may even have a disadvantage, because their hands are tied to argue individual constitutionalrights.
3) Most lawyers are like most pastors, they are experts and refuse
to listen to a layman's opinion.
4) Lawyers meet in judges chambers to discuss the trial, what will be allowed to be said and what will not. Hearings and their outcomeare cut and dried.
5) Lawyers will sacrifice principle to save their neck and their license. 6) Judges are lawyers who are not free men. They are subject to an association of their peers who pass judgment on them and who canlimit their future. They are all subject to the Supreme Court of the State and the U.S. who can dis-bar them.
7) Lawyers are not interested for the most part in Justice, but
winning. 8) Lawyer judges will become extremely nervous and aggravated if you try to represent yourself. They want you to have a lawyer to representyou, to relieve them of their responsibility to look out for yourrights. 9) Lawyers are loyal to the hand that feeds them; the State, not the people. For that reason, you will hardly ever win a case againstthe State or government. One of the reasons for losing is that thejudge will not let you enter all the evidence in your favor. In ourcase, the children tested out from 1-3 years ahead of the State schools.These tests were given by the man who gave the State tests. The judgerefused to allow this information to enter the record and refusedto allow the expert to testify. 10) Judge Case made it quite clear that while he agreed with our case 95%, he was not going to jeopardize his retirement to protectour rights. 11) Our attorneys on several occasions met with or talked to the judges without our knowledge, permission, or agreement. Some decisionswere made against our wishes. Two examples of this are as follows:We were not happy that the attorneys taught the State how to sue a corporation. Corporations do not have Constitutional rights, individuals
do.Second, in January 1982, we notifed the officials that we intended to bring the school back in on Monday and that we were going to stayin the building all Sunday night if necessary to do so. The attorneyscalled the judge and told him that we were going to have an all nightprayer meeting so the judge would have a face saving reason to orderthe locks kept off and the officers away. 12) Our attorneys informed us that they could not protect our secrets. That if we had secrets, not to tell them, for they were obligatedto tell the judge. We were also told by our attorneys that they wereresponsible to the judge to try and get our secrets. This made itdifficult to know when our attorneys were really in need of informationor when they were simply fulfilling their obligation to the judge.
13) Most judges and lawyers will lie, cheat, take pay offs, and use dirty tricks to do their thing. We hired a private investigatorwho confirmed that $2,000,000.00 in dirty money was laundered fromthe NEA under the table to officials in Cass County Nebraska directlyrelated to our case. We ran out of money before he could confirm whichofficials. The fact that Judge Walsh was purposely removed from thecase and a liberal judge appointed out of retirement shows how highcorruption is in our land. 14) Never say never; but God willing and with all my sanity, I cannotthink of any circumstances where I feel that having an attorney todayfor any reason of defense or prosecution would be preferable to nothaving one.
BATTLES THAT NEVER COME
The battle of Louisville may be the only opportunity in our lifetime to see so many pastors and people in one place doing one thing to stand for God and against tyranny.
I have been asked many times around the country how we go about mobilizing forces in other places. There have been opportunities where this could have been done. The Bob Jones case was one. When they lost their case because they were a 501C3, they could have refused to pay the tax, called in the pastors and had a tremen¬ dous stand which I believe would have won a tremendous victory. However, Bob Jones chose to pay the tax and there was no need for confrontation, neither can this institution claim Lordship by Jesus Christ or sovereignty.
Brother Otwell in Fort Worth, Texas came to this point; he stood very well, except in one point where I believe the pastors from America would have rallied. He felt God called him to close the home; therefore, once again a stand and confrontation was al¬ leviated.
I do not know of any others where such a stand could have been made in the last few years. Many people want to bring together a stand but there are several reasons why it cannot be done. The government is becoming much more astute in choosing its bat¬ tlegrounds. 1) They realize that jailing pastors, padlocking churches and in general making havoc with the buildings of churches is not popular. 2) They try to bring charges which are much more devastating such as child abuse, child molestation, etc. This happened with Brother Fountain in Mississippi and Brother Luttrell in Oregon.
No one knows for sure if God will ever bring about another oppor¬ tunity of God to make an all out stand; however, it is probably very doubtful. The Operation Rescue has been the closest thing and has been tremendously effective; however, because it is not defending church buildings but is rather an offensive action in the front of abortion clinics, it has had a more difficult time gaining the grounds necessary.
We have had many people want to take stands over the killing of people like Gordon Kahl or Mr. Kirk in Nebraska. Many have called for Courts of Divine Justice and stands in the area of the income tax. There are many other issues over which stands are being taken; however, it is my conclusion that the church of Jesus Christ is the one sovereign entity in this country for whom God Himself will fight and defend. It is when the church is being at¬ tacked that the opportunity will present itself. Therefore, God is waiting for ministers and pastors who are willing to take a stand against unGodly government whereby the rallying point can be made.
Most unregistered churches are not seeing the confrontation be¬ cause they are standing and because the state is aware that they will lose this battle; they are not preceding to the point of confrontation.I255I
H 52 408 432 0 0 408 0 1 1 0HWe have learned in this confrontation that God will stand by His people if they will stand on Sovereignty of God over the church and I believe over the family. I believe that a stand could be taken if the government is attacking the church or the home. However, there must be clean hands in order to make it work. It will not work to those who are fighting the income tax at this time. It will not work for those who are in debt to the bankers at this time. While all of these may be worthy battles, they simply are not going to rally the people.
If homeschoolers will stand and if pastors will stand, people can be rallied if the cause is right. The cause should be over the ministries of the church and its right to influence society. Also, the battle should be in the home over the sovereignty of the home and the right of parents over their children.
I believe that God may raise up others in the future. All we can do is watch and pray and trust that somewhere God will have someone who is willing to say "No" to government in the right places at the right time.
THE SUPPORT OF PASTORS
The battle in Louisville, at the time it began in 1977, was not conceived
to be a battle of significance, nor was it conceived to be a watershed
for the future; however, after the battle was over and now as we look
back on the events surrounding the Faith Baptist Church struggle against
the State of Nebraska and the federal and local education establishments,
Dr. Greg Dixon of Indianapolis, Dr. Robert McCurry of Atlanta, Georgia
and various other pastors would agree that the battle of Louisville
was more significant than any could have comprehended at the time.
As you look back through the annals of history, you find that from
time to time, God reaches down and chooses an individual, a church,
or a situation and uses it for a significant historical turn of events.
Certainly, the individuals involved at the time are not aware of the
national and international prominence of their position and that is
by God's choosing lest we be filled with pride. I believe we would
all look at Noah and his boat and the flood as such an event. Noah
and those surrounding him, I do not believe at the time, believed
they were heroes. I believe he had many days of discouragement as
he preached the judgment of God for 120 years and built a boat, doubtless
in the face of much laughter, criticism and religious opposition.
I am sure that Abraham leaving the wealth of his family, taking his
own personal wealth and his wife, agreeing to be nomads the rest of
their lives, did not see themselves as significant key players in
the plan of God.
I am sure that the Hebrew children as they walked in the dry path
of the Red Sea when it parted did not realize the significance of
the events surrounding their escape. The same could be said for the
three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, or Daniel in the lion's
den or the apostle Paul and others preaching during the Roman empire.
So it was when Dr. Everett Sileven, a handful of mothers, his daughter
and wife and a small church stood for what they believed was the will
of God concerning the rearing of their children against the power
of the state and powers of education in the United States and Nebraska.
During this stand, the media was a mixture in its attitude. Certainly
the media of Nebraska was consistently negative on Faith Baptist Church,
Dr. Sileven and the people of Faith Baptist Church. This negativism
was not based upon fact or logic but was simply based upon political
struggle. Therefore, it would not be inconceivable that only those
people who listened to the media in the state of Nebraska would be
against Faith Baptist Church, Dr. Sileven and the people involved.
Again, this is not based on fact or logic but is simply based on the
bias published in the newspapers and carried on television.
Since most of the people in the State of Nebraska, including the Pastors
of the State, received their information strictly through the media,
never one time contacting Pastor Sileven or the Faith Baptist Church,
they took a consistent negative stand. Most of the Pastors in the
State of Nebraska of all denominations were opposed to Pastor Sileven,
Faith Baptist Church, and the Christian school in Louisville.
What was most distressing was that many of the Baptist, Pentecostal
and other new Christian schools started in the State of Nebraska using
the same curriculum, believing the same principles of being unregistered,
uncertified and unregulated were administered by Pastors who opposed
Pastor Sileven and the church not on the lack of information, not
on the lack of logic, but either out of jealousy or shear desire to
be in the battle forefront themselves. To give you a few illustrations,
Pastor Bob Gelsthorpe from North Platte, while coming to Louisville
and spending many hours fighting on our behalf, occasionally would
interview in the press as being opposed to our methods. He even had
his own school battle to fight and eventually wound up going to the
sheriff's office during the day on a court order for refusing licensure
and compliance also. Brother Gelsthorpe and his family were wonderful
people and we love them very much; however, he did not consistently
stand with us. He chose rather to hook up with Reverend Ed Nelson
and the Bob Jones crowd taking a stand against Dr. Dixon and the Faith
Baptist Church in their struggle. It is unfortunate that Brother Gelsthorpe
eventually left his church and left town moving out of the State over
Another illustration would be Pastor Bentley of Omaha, Nebraska. Theoretically
and basically he stood with us; he came to the meetings and was in
many of the rallies supporting us; however, he was weakened by the
fact that he was caught in Iowa in a compromising position over moral
charges and when we requested the use of his building for school at
one time, he and his deacons refused. He also advised one of his family
members who lived across the State line not to receive one of our
families into their home temporarily when a bench warrant was issued
for the mother and the father was in jail. This mother and 8 children
with very little money in a 20 o below zero temperature and a snowing
blizzard was turned away from this home because the Pastor advised
them not to get involved. These are difficult things to understand.
We would expect the Lutherans and the Catholics to be somewhat negative
since they already are controlled, licensed and take federal funds.
The same would be true of the 7th Day Adventists in the State and
they suffer from the same humanistic ideology in their schools that
are taught in the public schools.
Reverend Carl Godwin, who was Pastor of the Bible Baptist Church in
Lincoln, Nebraska and at that time was the largest independent Baptist
Church, an ex-Nazarene preacher also who attended and cooperated with
Jerry Falwell and was involved with Moral Majority did come over on
occasion and stand with us, but eventually did an entire 30 minute
television show opposing us. He did us much harm and much damage.
He also sent out letters under his own organization name and address
in Lincoln under the guise of raising money for the fathers and their
families while they were in jail. He received many thousands of dollars,
but only made token gifts to the families. This was also done by Jerry
Falwell and only when these men were threatened with lawsuits were
they willing to even write token checks.
Dr. Greg Dixon, Dr. Robert McCurry, Dr. Ed Rowe from Virginia, Buddy
Gillespie from Kentucky, Dr. Clay Nuttal from Michigan, Richard Moore,
Joe Lutz from Oregon and numerous others came and spent their own
money, many of them borrowed money, stayed many nights, many days,
weeks and months to lead in this battle. Dr. Tim Lee, who is now an
evangelist, ex-Marine who lost his legs in the Viet Nam war, who preaches
from his wheelchair, was holding a revival meeting in California in
one of the largest fundamental churches; he closed the meeting on
Monday when he heard of the padlocking of the church and the carrying
out of the men. He came all the way to Omaha at his own expense to
cut the locks off the doors. Because of his brave leadership, 52 other
men signed the sheet that they would also help. The reason this was
so dangerous was because two armed officers were on the inside of
the building with orders to shoot anyone who tried to take off those
chains. Tim Lee and these 52 men were going to line up at 3:00 PM
on a given date to cut off the locks. Dr. Dixon, Ed Rowe and Dr. Robert
McCurry met with the judge for 3 hours to try to convince him to take
the locks off and when he refused, they relayed to him the fact that
these men were going to cut it off. This so frightened the judge he
then rewrote his order, called the Sheriff and ordered him to remove
the locks and they were never returned to the church.
It was during all of these activities during the heat of the battle
when literally hundreds and thousands of Pastors were coming to the
State for a show of support and strength that Ed Nelson and Al Janning
and others came not to support us, not to help us, but to try to persuade
us to compromise, to move, and close down the school. When we refused
they met with State officials and the Sheriff, condemning us and telling
them that we were really radicals; that we were not true fundamental
Christians; that we were trouble makers and that the lawmakers and
other officials of the State should separate Faith Baptist Church,
Everett Sileven and all of their activities from the other people
in the State who were good people trying to solve the problem. This
of course only endangered everyone and prolonged the agony.
When the Sheriff lied and told Mr. Al Janning and others that there
were weapons in the church, (there never were weapons in the church
except the Sword of the Lord - the Bible) these men believed the Sheriff
and others without ever verifying the information; they left Nebraska
and spread all over America that we were harboring guns, that we were
going to shoot, that we were going to attack, that we were blood thirsty,
that we were radical, that we were making our own problems and immediately
poisoned the well with other Pastors and other Christians.
Dr. McCurry, Dr. Dixon, Dr. Clay Nuttal are three men who literally
destroyed their own physical health to stand in this battle. There
were literally dozens of others who destroyed their financial stability,
spent all their savings and gave all that they had. These men need
to be remembered in the annals of history as the great fighters for
the faith. There were literally hundreds of Pastors who hurt themselves
financially to spend money to come and stand and fight the battle.
Literally thousands of Christians across America made telephone calls,
spent money, wrote letters, and did whatever they could.
There are several Pastors of large churches that should be mentioned
here. Dr. Pennell from Atlanta did come by and show his support and
gave an offering and led his church in prayer for the support of this
ministry. Dr. Jack Hyles probably gave the largest offering, over
$14,000.00, to the church to help pay the bills. Dr. Jim Vineyard
was probably the most active in support. He came to Louisville, preached
and led encouragement for the men at least twice. He sent bus loads
of young preacher boys to Louisville on at least a couple of occasions.
I think it is noteworthy here that Dr. Vineyard showed tremendous
wisdom in sending young men to the battlefront. Every Bible college
in America should have had their young preacher boys here to learn
the issues, to see the struggle and to understand the fight. We commend
these men and thank God for them and their support.
It is easy to see that we have two kinds of Pastors. We have those
who understand the battle, who understand the conflict and understand
who the enemy is. These men have expended themselves in money, health,
and spiritual warfare to help bring the victory in Nebraska. Then
we have those who are traitors, liars, and wolves in sheep's clothing.
May we all be aware of them, may we cease to support them and may
we ask God to convert them or destroy them.
As I look back over the struggle and evaluate it from the point of
Pastors, there is no question that the battle of Louisville was the
watershed test in the 20th Century of God's church and her Pastors.
Except for a few thousand, probably 3 to 4 thousand Pastors who did
pass with flying colors, the church and her leaders failed miserably.
There are 136,000 religious organizations and leaders in the United
States. Less than 10,000 of these Pastors cared enough to write a
letter, make a phone call, send an offering or pray about the situation
in Nebraska. Less than 5,000 of them were committed or able to come
to Nebraska and less than 100 literally gave themselves to the battle.
That means that probably 90% of the Pastors including more than 50%
of the fundamental Pastors of America, failed.
I am not complaining. They would not support Lester Roloff either.
They will not support any other Pastor who gets into a battle. In
fact, most of these men do not believe Christians ought to stand for
anything except soul winning and preaching John 3:16. In fact, one
pastor, Dr. Henderson who was leader of the Baptist Bible Fellowship
made the statement from his pulpit that he would not go to jail until
they told him he could not preach John 3:16 from his pulpit.
Dr. Henderson will never go to jail. They preach John 3:16 from the
First Baptist Church of Moscow. The Preacher is a KGB agent. They
do not care what you do on Sunday morning in your church; it is what
you do to reach the young people, train the young people and change
the course of the Nation that gets them disturbed. It's when you fight
against abortion; it's when you fight against sodomy; it's when you
take an active stand and refuse to support with your body, your mind,
your spirit or your finances the wickedness of the government policies
that you get in trouble. Few Pastors today are going to take a stand
against sin. They may placate sin with a few words of antagonism,
but they will continue to write out their checks, they will continue
to sign the papers, they will continue to fill out their reports and
they will continue to compromise and make government God.
The problem is that the majority of American Christianity is sitting
in the pew pastored by these kind of compromising Pastors. We cannot
have revival until the Preachers of America are willing to make God
We will discuss what we learned about corporations, originally, the action brought against us by the State of Nebraska
was brought in County Court based on criminal misdemeanor statutes
against me personally and Rev. Edward Gilbert, my associate and school
administrator. Under those procedures we would have been allowed a
jury and probably would never have been held as criminals by a jury
even of the area. However, our attorneys basically taught the State
of Nebraska how to bring a civil action against the corporation. The
Gibbs and Craze Law firm has consistently resisted the truth about
the problems of corporations in churches from the very beginning.
This is an area where I fault them very heavily.
It was well into this case in the year 1983, after I had already been
to jail a couple of times and I was serving my third round of contempt
of court, when the honorable Judge Raymond Case asked the Sheriff
to bring me one night from the jail cell, about 10:00 PM, to his office
on the second floor of the Cass County Court House. As I came to the
door the Sheriff left; the Judge invited me in, spoke to me in very
humble terms and said he wanted to visit with me for a few minutes.
He then asked me to pray before we had our meeting. We both got on
our knees and prayed that God would direct our discussion.
He first began by asking me to close the school. When I refused, he
asked if I would move it outside his jurisdiction. Again, I refused.
He then made a statement that got my attention. He said, "Pastor you're
95% right in your arguments, but you are 5% wrong."
I responded, "If you can point out where I am wrong, I will repent
and make changes."
He then pulled from the file the pleadings that had been filed and
asked me to read the heading.
I read, "The State of Nebraska et. al., Attorney General Paul Douglas
vs. The Faith Baptist Church, a Nebraska Corporation."
At that point he stopped me and said, "Would you read those last few
I read them again, "Faith Baptist Church, a Nebraska Corporation."
He then asked me, "Is that a heavenly corporation?"
I replied, "No!"
He asked me again, "Is that an angelic corporation?"
I replied again, "No!"
He asked me thirdly, "Well, what kind of corporation is that?"
I responded, "According to the heading, it is a Nebraska corporation."
He then asked me a strange question, "Who owns your buildings?"
I answered, "The Faith Baptist .... Ah, I'm beginning to see the light.
The corporation owns the property."
The Judge responded, "Who owns the corporation?"
I said, "Ah, Nebraska." He said, "That's right."
He told me that he was going to padlock my church again and he wanted
to explain to me that that was the most charitable thing he could
do since the leaders in Lincoln, Nebraska have requested that he bulldoze
it down and burn it, and the State had the jurisdiction and authority
to do so because those properties belong to a corporation owned by
the State of Nebraska and it is breaking the laws of the State of
Nebraska which the charter forbids it from doing.
Well, I didn't have to call my religious guru to find out if I should
unincorporate. I unincorporated the church and it began to turn the
case around from that point; not in the Courts, but God stepped in
and ended the matter very quickly after that.
Now, we have had a tremendous battle trying to educate Pastors about
this whole concept of the Lordship of Christ and the corporation and
any other ties with the government.
The reasons we are having a problem, are several:
1) Most Fundamental Baptist Preachers are not readers and are not
well educated and are not willing to be taught.
2) Most Pastors view the American government as Christian when in
fact it is heathen.
3) Most Fundamental Baptist Pastors follow a guru fundamentalist leader
and they do not do anything without checking with him first, and the
gurus are usually well sold out to the system.
4) The gurus are so entangled and dependent on tax exempt gifts, that
they fear a movement away from incorporation and 501C3 because this
would jeopardize their own kingdoms.
5) Most Pastors, including Fundamental Baptists, do not understand
the Biblical definition of church and its relationship to the Lord
6) Fundamentalists are not good historians and do not know the history
of the entanglement problem.
7) Christian attorneys are not needed nearly as much to fight criminal
activity as they are civil actions; therefore, they like to see the
corporation stay intact and they will not advise people to unincorporate.
8) Pastors and their churches are so deep in debt, they cannot unincorporate
because banking institutions require corporations or personal signatures
of members of the church in order to maintain large amounts of debt.
(However, there is evidence to prove this statement wrong since Dr.
Greg Dixon of Indianapolis Baptist Temple was able to unincorporate
his church and still obtain a loan of nearly 2 million dollars.) His
church is now very close to being out of debt.
Most Pastors are not leaders, they are followers. Most of them are
willing to simply say, "I am going to leave things the way they are
until I have a problem." Of course, that's what we did in Louisville
and look where we were. Every single government activity is tied to
that corporation. Lawsuits on minimum wage, lawsuits on equal opportunity,
lawsuits on equal pay for men and women, lawsuits on discrimination,
lawsuits on the abortion and tax issue, lawsuits on everything are
tied to the corporation. IRS regulations and all other regulations
are tied to the corporations.
There is a section of the IRS code, 508(1)(a), that states, "mandatory
exceptions to 501(c)(3): churches; from the date of conception and
This means that unincorporated churches are viewed as churches and
are excluded from the tax process. They are not exempt, they are excluded.
There is a difference legally and the exclusion is better than the
exemption. Exemption is a privilege, exclusion is a right.
Churches that are unincorporated and don't have 501C3 are not under
the jurisdiction and regulation of the government. They have the right
to preach for or against anything, even what the government considers
political - 501(c)(3) churches cannot do that. The gifts are still
tax deductible; the only problem is, you can't give a tax deductible
receipt, which is Scriptural, which means you should not be keeping
records; let people take care of their own tax receipts. Faith Baptist
Church unincorporated, did not give tax deductible receipts and we
urged people to give cash. We personally do not believe it is right
to take their religious gifts that they have given to the Lord's work
as deductions from the government anyway.
This would eliminate the need for government audits; this would eliminate
the need for all kinds of problems. When we build a web that is unScriptural,
beginning with the church corporation, we finally wind up in such
a quagmire of Babylonian religious government systems, that the church
is no longer effective. There is hardly a Pastor in the country who
can take on controversial issues because he will lose his tax exempt
status, he will lose his 501(c)(3), he will lose people, he can't
pay his debt, he will lose his buildings, he jeopardizes everything
he has. Until we return to the church, free, totally free, under the
Lordship of Christ, the church will be ineffective.
While Judge Case, in my opinion, could have solved our problems in
Nebraska, he probably did us a favor by teaching us about the church
corporation. One of the most important lessons we learned was that
churches must not be incorporated.
good and Godly saints,
PARENTS OF CHILDREN IN SCHOOL
The following families were involved in the Faith Baptist Church School controversy: Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Lisles and their daughter Karen; Mr. & Mrs. Ray Robinson and their children Rachael, Carrie, Tracy, and they have 5 other children who were too young for school at the time; Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth Stastny and their daughter Tammy, their son Tommy, also their daughters Elizabeth, Laura and Mary; Mr. & Mrs. Larry Nolte and their children Chad, John, Faith and Joy; Mr. & Mrs. David Carlson; Mr. & Mrs. Herman Buchanan and their daughter, LeAnne; Mr. & Mrs. James Glenn and their children Lance, and Joshua.
There were two other families whose children were never offi¬ cially part of the fight, but they were in the school while others were being jailed. Mr. & Mrs. Bill Essary and their children, and Mr. & Mrs. Jack Walker and their children. Mr. & Mrs. Phil Schmidt; Phil Schmidt was the associate pastor; Tresa Schmidt was the teacher who had a six month old son and warrants were put out for her arrest. This lesson will be primarily about the seven families who were involved to the extent of going to jail and having warrants issued for their arrest.
Some of the things to be said in this article, may not sound very flattering to some of the people involved, so it must be said up front, that without these parents, first of all, having their children in the school, second of all, their willingness to fight and stand, third, their willingness to go to jail and fourth, the fact that they did go to jail; this case would probably never been won. There probably would have been no victory without their participation; however, because they did not stand firm long enough and to the finish there were some victories that were lost.
We will discuss television ministries - the good and the bad,
what we saw of God's hand.
We will talk about legislative arrogance,
what we learned about the N.E.A.,
politics from the highest office to the lowest office in the Nation.
THE POLITICS OF INJUSTICE
When the battle against the Faith Baptist Church, a small independent church in the rural Nebraska town of 1,000 population began,we were extremely naive as to the implications of a Christian School and the force with which the State of Nebraska and the forces of the Public Educational establishment would use to close it.
Education historically has been a parental matter, not a state matter or a federal matter. Historically, the public elected officials were good men and women interested in honest government and the good of the people. We were so uninformed that we believed that this philosophy still remained true. Boy were we wrong!
First of all, we learned that John Dewey and others of his character and mind-set began in the mid 1800's to get education out of the hands of the parents, who were bent on teaching patriotism and Bible morals, and into the hands of the government, and tax supported, so professional teachers could be prepared to indoctrinate the children in socialism and humanism and thus change the entire character of American culture.
This system was developed and put in place in the early 1900's and Nebraska was the first pilot State as a project by Dewey's people and Cornell University in 1918. The strategy of this system was to set up the educational system, then set up teacher's unions with mandatory financial support to be used to buy the elected officials and control their votes on education and other related matters.
In no State was this so effective as in Nebraska. Why? because they were also able to get Nebraska to throw out its two house system and adopt a one house "Unicameral". This body has 49 members who are elected every 4 years on a 2 year odd - even basis. The average cost of election to this office over the past 40 years has been less than $8,000. Thus, if the Nebraska Teacher's Union could elect 13 people every two years with an investment of $52,000 a year, they owned the Unicameral.
Also, no Governor gets elected without their support. The Union also became so strong that they had great influence in the selection of judges. They also were able to have great input into the election of Attorney Generals and local prosecutors.
Now, you have a State that is dominated by the educational establishment. Add to this the power of Federal education funds and you have a ravenous monster that only God can defeat on behalf of a small hand full of Christians who have little or no money.
Why was the fight so vicious? The public education system is the core of the plan to merge the United States and the Soviet Union culturally. That plan was first signed by John F. Kennedy, then by Carter. The Soviet Union is now writing text books and text for software for the U.S. school system. It is being introduced into the schools in 1988-89.
To allow even one school of children to escape this system would be disastrous. The overall plan is to bring all private education under the control and watchful eye of the State. A system like they have in Mexico is desired. In Mexico, Christian schools are only allowed to operate if you put in a tv and allow two hours a day of Marxism to be taught. The programming comes via satellite from Mexico City.
In 1977, when Faith Baptist was first attacked by the State, there were few home schools and a growing number of Christian schools in America. There were many private and Parochial schools, but they were all licensed and controlled by the State and were experiencing the same problems as the public schools only in some lesser degree.
The greatest control the State can exert over your school is to require State certified teachers. These teachers have been desensitized to Christianity and Communism through the teacher education process. This is very much on the agenda of the public educators.
We lobbied the State Legislature and the Governor in 1977-1984 sessions.
We were only laughed at until 1979, when we lost our case and refused to close. When it appeared that we were indeed going to face jail, I organized the first state wide effort. We called the AT&T mail gram center and set up a mail gram. We called all the pastors and ask them to ask their people to call the 800 number and send the mailgram, which would be billed to their phone bill. The coast was about $2.00 each and we put over 1000 mail grams on the desk of 5 key legislators. Out of this, we got a meeting with Senator John DeCamp who became our greatest force in the legislature.
Each year, all kinds of bills were introduced and the Nebraska Education Lobby and the federal lobby went to work against us. They threatened, they cursed, they physically grabbed legislators in the hall by the ties and choked them simply asking, "Do you want to be re-elected or not?' That meant, "Don't do anything to help these Christian schools".
The National Education Association put $2,000,000 into the fight, some of which we found out later went under the table to officials in Cass County.
When the church was padlocked, I was jailed and the parents of the children attending the Church educational ministry were jailed; the question of Constitutional rights, and civil rights arose. The pastors who were leading the resistance contacted the White house and were directed to the President's Council on Civil Rights. The Kansas City office was contacted and one Washington member and the Kansas City Regional member made trips to Nebraska to talk to all concerned. They met with myself, Dr. Dixon, Dr. McCurry, Dr. Ed Rowe and a few other ministers over on the Iowa side while I was in hiding.
Out of this meeting, we learned some interesting things. First, the Council member from Kansas City was a black man. The member from Washington, D.C. was a White man, an attorney, a law professor at Catholic University of America.
They spent about two hours with us and we discussed many things, but the real shocking lesson was summarized in the following terms:
There is no such thing as constitutional rights. There are God given rights. The Constitution acknowledges them and verbalizes that government does not have the right to step on them or violate them. The courts were originally set up to determine their violation and stop government when such violations occur and are brought before them.
According the our Washington attorney, the United States Supreme Court and thus all other courts stopped using the Constitution for this purpose in the late 1800's. He cited a case but I have forgotten it now. Therefore, for all practical purposes, we cannot go to the courts any longer and expect them to protect us from abusive government.
Civil Rights are just that, "Civil". They are based on civil government decree. Our governments, Federal, State and Local have decreed all kinds of civil rights for various people; Indians, blacks, orientals, hispanics, women, children, etc. Our government has not issued decrees of civil rights to whites, or for religious civil rights. Therefore, because we were white Christians, there were no civil rights on the books for us.
Human Rights include all possible Rights. They are decreed by the United Nations and litigated in the World Courts. We were advised that the only court left to us was the World Court in Mexico City. We of course refused this foreign and ungodly jurisdiction.
This was a sad and eye opening day. We now had confirmed what we had suspected for some time. Our freedoms were indeed gone and we were under the mighty hand of oppression by a wicked and foreign government; all at the will of God as judgment on our nation for her sins. We still live in that condition today, only progressively worsening.
Not public opinion! There is another court these men did not know about. The court of Divine Justice. We will discuss it in a later lesson.
The sad part about the battle in Louisville was that it was not won in the courts by justice. It was not won by a united, repentant mass of Christian ministers. It was won by the hand of God through political power. Political power when used for good, can and will be used by the same people for bad.
When the fathers were jailed, and warrants put out for me, the mothers and Mrs. Schmidt, the teacher, the Christian media was called into action by our crisis center under the direction of Dr. Clay Nuttall.
The Christian TV, and radio stations put the President's White House phone number on the air. Over 200,000 calls were made in 2 days. The White House had to hire 19 extra operators. This triggered the President, Mr. Reagan, who called Mr. Bell, the Education Secretary. Bell called the new governor of Nebraska , Bob Kerry, a liberal, but a politician. Bell threatened to hold up Federal school funds for two or three years while they investigated. Kerry called the Nebraska Education lobby, Herb Schmick, and told him the problem. Why did he call Schmick? Why not the State Department of Education? Because the Teacher's Union controlled the political machine, not the elected officials. Schmick agreed to let a bill through the legislature to free the church religious ministries if Kerry would push a $20,000,000 tax increase for public education. The deal was struck, the bill passed and the battle was over. The church was free.
As Mr. Rothchild Sr. said many years ago, the world is ruled by a very different group of people than those who are seen by the public.
God is still on the throne. The heathen rage, God laughs and we will win, even by the devices of the wicked, but much pain and suffering will be felt on the road to victory. We learned a very painful lesson. America has lost her freedom, guaranteed through law, to the forces of an unwanted and fearful democracy controlled by the demagogues and powerful one world forces bent on destroying God and His people.
LESSONS OF LOUISVILLE is written by Dr. Everett Sileven, Pastor / Evangelist of Faith Baptist Evangelistic Ministries. Dr. Sileven was Pastor of Faith Baptist Church during the struggle with the State of Nebraska.
,we were extremely naive as to
church stability and how to survive a battle and an attack.
PREPARING YOUR MEMBERS FOR BATTLE
Many people were amazed that during a seven year battle which took
unprecedented toll upon the members of Faith Baptist Church, the parents
who sent their children to school there and the leadership, not one
family left the church because of the battle. Seven of the fathers
went to jail, eight mothers with children were fugitives out of the
State for some weeks. Many have asked me, how were you able to hold
the church together?
First of all, I want to emphasize that the church was not held together
by me. The church was held together by the Holy Spirit and by the
character of the people involved. The only credit that I will take
is that I did an abundant amount of teaching and preparation as well
as seek an abundance of counsel.
In 1977 when we first started talking about a Christian school, we
met with the members of the church and specifically the parents who
had children who would attend the school. We never rushed a meeting;
we never tried to press through our own goals and desires. We always
discussed in full detail, allowing every person to discuss totally
his feelings, his views and to ask any question which should be asked.
Out of this, the people, first of all, learned all of the Biblical
commands and promises; they learned all of the State requirements;
they learned all of the fallacies of the State; they learned that
they could trust their Pastor and each other and they learned exactly
how much they really wanted to have a Christian school and what it
would cost them in dollars, time and in sacrifice. It was this kind
of background in which they made their decisions. We anticipated the
worst. I never led my people without exposing to them the worst possible
atrocities the State could impose upon them. We discussed many times
the possibility of facing the National Guard; and being shot and dying.
We even discussed more often the going to jail, the confiscation of
property and many of the hard realities that they might face like
losing their children.
As a group they faced it together. I was death in my emphasis upon
staying together and staying committed. I emphasized in every meeting
if we are going to do it then we must do it together, and we must
vote not to withdraw under any circumstance.
In a later lesson, we will discuss what really did happen in some
cases, but for the most part, the people paid the price. In fact,
many people joined our church, came to Louisville and stood with us
because the spirit of God identified in their hearts that what we
were doing was right. One man and his family from Iowa brought a half
of beef to be eaten by the preachers and others who were standing.
Many people brought hundreds of pounds of food and helped in the preparation
of that food. People worked tirelessly. Some of the people and examples
I will share. I hesitate to do this because I probably will leave
out some of the more important ones, but I think it is important for
people to understand the sacrifice that was made. First of all, many
of the parents spent multitudes of days and weeks in the learning
center helping to teach when the parents were under indictment and
warrants were issued for their arrest. The school families which at
this point, I would identify as Ray and Barb Robinson, Larry and Julie
Nolte, Herman and Elaine Buchanan, Kenneth and Elaine Stastny, Ralph
& Jessie Lyles, Dave and Gail Carlson, and James and Bonnie Glenn.
These families sacrificed tremendously. There were others though who
sacrificed equally. First I would have to list Ewalt and Lillian Hageman,
who spent countless hours at the church and Mrs. Hageman actually
lived with my wife and took care of her for many days and weeks while
I was in jail. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Gove spent hours at the church
working and serving and even gave large amounts of food. Mr. & Mrs.
Newton came from Iowa and brought much food including the half of
beef. Jim and Sharon Clark of Esterville, Iowa spent much of their
time at the church and helped with printing and mail. Many of the
farmers in Nebraska donated food and other gifts to help feed the
many people that were at the church.Mr. Schoof saw that my wife's
needs were taken care of each week I was in jail. There were many
others that gave their time and gifts to help the work continue.
Also, a key in keeping everyone motivated and together was the leadership
of Dr. Greg Dixon, Dr. Robert McCurry and Dr. Clay Nuttal, along with
various other Pastors such as Buddy Gillespie, Ed Rowe and many, many
others. They were there for counseling. Jim Lee, and Brother Keaton
were the Pastors who served as interim Pastors and counseled the people.
The key to any battle would be as follows:
@INDENT = 1. Is there a legitimate Biblical issue?
@INDENT = 2. Can you maintain the defensive position in the Lord?
@INDENT = 3. Have you properly and fully informed the people?
@INDENT = 4. Have they made a total commitment to stand?
@INDENT = 5. Have you sought much counsel and given the people assurance
and confidence in leadership?
The truth is that while Pastor Everett Sileven may have stood and
was the catalyst for this struggle, he probably was not the real reason
that victory came. The people of Faith Baptist Church, the Pastor's
wife, Tressie Sileven, and the leadership of other Pas tors such as
Dr. Dixon, Dr. McCurry, Dr. Clay Nuttal and others played a tremendous
role in the successful struggle in Louisville.
There is no doubt that this confrontation was instigated and catalyzed
by the Almighty God in His sovereign purpose and will. The people
were given an opportunity to express to the Nation once and for all
that Jesus Christ was sovereign Lord and God and that government was
a subsidiary role. Because Pastor Sileven and the church as a whole
stood on these principles, God honored them by giving victory, but
these battles are not fought every day and they are certainly not
going to be fought on such a grand scale where thousands of Pastors
and the complete religious and secular media of the Nation is open
and used. Only God could have put the battle of Louisville together
and brought it to a successful end. The people of America and the
world will owe the members of Faith Baptist Church an eternal gratitude;
those who were faithful and sacrificed and stayed in loving communion
with God, the Pastor and each other. One lesson we learned from Louisville
is that God can only use a church that is informed, committed, and
sacrificial. May God raise up many of them in our Nation in this day.
LESSONS OF LOUISVILLE is published monthly by Dr. Everett Sileven.
This is a series of lessons on what was learned from the battle of
Louisville, Nebraska. If you are interested in more information on
this subject, Dr. Sileven has written a book entitled, THE PADLOCKED
CHURCH. It is available from America Today Books, 302 North 2nd
Street, Houston, MO 65483.
If you were involved in the battle of Louisville and have any pertinent
information or event that may have happened, please write us and let
us know. We did not keep a detailed record of all that happened during
the battle and would appreciate any help or assistance you can give
Please send information to: 302 North 2nd Street, Houston, MO 65483.
government power to destroy individuals through investigation and the IRS,
how God dealt with His enemies,
the Christian media and how it is best used,
the separation cult - who are they and what is their greatest fault;
guru religion in America, guru jealousy,
the rumor mill,
tactics - should they be used or not,
State religion, and
assault on church property
We will have a lesson on Punksville,
school hypocrisy and testing.
We will discuss the role of church and Pastor in Society,
church priorities re-examined,
the strain of lifelong friendships,
the power of prayer and healing,
do the charismatics have a corner on it,
and true friends in times of distress.
What about the testimony, qualities and lessons of a good and faithful wife,
the judgment of God,
Courts of Divine Justice,
a hunger for righteousness among God's people,
the generosity of God's people,
and then we will deal with the epilogue of where we are and where we are going.
This book is available from Faith Baptist Church, P.O. Box 188, Houston, Missouri 65483, or call 417-967-3176, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
@HEADING = INJUSTICE IN THE COURTS
The first lesson we learned was a hard lesson that the courts do not
carry out justice any more. It was my understanding that we had a
Constitution and a system of law and justice that punished wrong doers
and criminals, not the righteous and good in the com munity. I could
not have been further from the truth. Our judge, Raymond J. Case,
stated in the court room to the astonishment and amazement of a packed
house that he "was not bound by the Constitution in our case." We
saw our arguments, one after the other, fall by the wayside. We saw
the courts uphold the desires and wishes of the State even when it
was not in their best interest. We saw the courts maliciously punish
a Pastor, seven fathers being thrown into jail and bench warrants
issued for their wives and one issued for the teacher, Mrs. Tresa
Schmidt, forcing the wives, children and Mrs. Schmidt to leave the
state in the middle of winter fleeing for their own safety. We saw
the federal courts to the amazement of every attorney in the case,
turn their thumbs down.
We hired an investigator from the Chicago area who later confirmed
that 2 million dollars had been spent under the table in our case.
We were unable to confirm exactly who got all the money but we were
able to confirm that the money came from the National Education Association
on the National level.
We saw a judge issue an order padlocking the church. We saw law enforcement
officers forcibly evict people out of the church and close it. We
learned that Constitutional arguments were of no avail. We heard judge
after judge say that the arguments that the children were getting
a good education was irrelevant; arguments that no one had been hurt
or offended was irrelevant; arguments that no crimes had been committed
in the sense of damage to any other person was irrelevant; there were
no complaints by neighbors against the church or the children or the
parents. This was irrelevant. There were no complaints against the
Pastor or any of the teachers, but this was irrelevant.
The only thing that was relevant was that there were some laws on
the books of Nebraska to protect the interest of the State Department
of Education and the National Education Association and the Nebraska
Education Association were being refused for compliance and the State
wanted it stopped. This was the only relevance to the court. The State
could not prove that certified teachers would improve the education
quality. This was irrelevant. The State could not prove that public
schools or licensed schools would better the education of the children
at Faith Baptist Church, this was irrelevant. The State could not
prove that our children were not being educated; in fact, we proved
with their own testing expert that they were being educated far superior
to those in the State but this was irrelevant. We saw this case go
through every court in the State of Nebraska and every level of the
courts on the federal level only to be irrelevant.
Even the men who were forcibly removed by armed officers from a prayer
meeting in the church and who sued in the Federal court lost on the
first round. They appealed to the Eighth Appellate Level and won and
the case was reverted back to the lower level to determine damages.
In that hearing, no damages were assessed, meaning that the men did
not get any money, nor were the attorney fees paid by the State. They
appealed and the lower court decision was upheld. Many people across
America read articles which seemed to indicate that Faith Baptist
Church and the men had won 66 million dollars, but no one won any
money, not even enough money to pay the attorneys. Since that case,
we have seen case after case after case where the same rule has been
followed. The case involving four or five other churches in Nebraska,
not one single church won anything. Cases in other states have all
been lost basically except in rare occasions. In North Dakota, the
church lost, home schoolers have lost. It is quite evident that the
courts are there for the very single purpose of enforcing and holding
up the laws that are passed by the Congress, the legislatures, the
bureaucrats and the city council. It is a rare thing indeed when the
courts will rule against their own click. It is extremely expensive.
In our case, total expenses were in excess of half a million dollars.
Only through the generous contributions of many others around the
country were we able to carry on.
Today the courts are filled with fine, good upstanding, righteous
people who are taxpayers, who are hard working, who are contributing
in every fashion, but they are failing to fill out little papers and
comply with certain regulations. In fact, we have come to a place
in America where there are enough laws on the books to find every
single American guilty of something and it is only a matter of you
angering the wrong person and you will be picked up and taken into
court and you will not find justice.
Since Federal judges are appointed at the Federal level for life,
we have our hands tied and cannot remove those men. Many people have
applauded the Reagan era. He has appointed enough judges to replace
almost half the federal judges. Many of them are very young. I believe
we are going to see the greatest years of tyranny ahead of us by these
very judges. It is a very strange thing indeed that judges and politicans
of the conservative bend use the good policies of law and order to
persecute the righteous. Today, while murderers, drunkards, drug addicts
and drug pushers walk the streets of America, there are several Pastors
and hundreds of fine Christian men and women in jail and others who
have had their children taken away on phony charges.
Yes, it has been a sad, hard lesson for us to learn that the courts
in the United States of America no longer carry justice if you stand
on the Bible and the Constitution, but always remember there is a
court that is higher than the courts of the land and I am not talking
about the court of public opinion which is quoted so often. I am talking
about the Court of Divine Justice which is carried out by the almighty
God of the universe and we need to learn to appeal to that court.
May God's people stand before the courts of the land only when they
are dragged there and stand in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and
hold up his honor.
This is the 2nd lesson in the series, LESSONS OF LOUISVILLE. Each
of these lessons will eventually be published in a book. If you are
not currently a receiver of Sileven Sez, you may get your name on
the mailing list by calling 417-967-3600 or writing Faith Baptist
Ministries, 302 North 2nd St., Houston, MO 65483. There is no subscription
price but a monthly offering is requested. The complete and unabridged
edition of this book will be available in the future. We will let
you know as to when it is available in our monthly newsletter.
The more I think about the lessons from Louisville, the angrier I get that our educational system in America and the rest of the world, for that matter, is not geared to educate a child for life nor to function in life. Students graduate and can’t keep an accurate check log, don’t know how to dress for a job interview or have any idea how to work or make a living.